Health advocates share the hope that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the racial and ethnic health disparities that remain realities in today’s health care system. These disparities transcend age, gender, and ailment.
What makes up an “adequate” network of health care providers for consumers from diverse racial and ethnic groups? Our new brief describes policies to help achieve such networks—and strategies to put these policies in place.
Communities of color continue to face a limited availability of health care providers and facilities. By including at minimum these seven features in their provider networks, insurers can help consumers in communities of color gain access to timely, high-quality, language-accessible, culturally competent health care.
Designing Silver Health Plans with Affordable Out-of-Pocket Costs for Lower- and Moderate-Income Consumers
This brief identifies silver plan designs that make the upfront cost for care more affordable. You’ll also find policy and advocacy strategies to help advocates and policy makers effectively promote similar plan designs in other marketplaces across the country.
This slideshow lays out a basic explanation of what comprises an adequate network. It also describes the first-ever federal standards for network adequacy and the burgeoning number of state regulations in place to enforce them.
Each month, we weigh in on selected news stories and trending debates that are shaping the direction of health care policy.
The start of the second open enrollment period is less than 50 days away. Like many of you, I’ve been finding myself increasingly caught up in the whirlwind of activity around preparations for the new enrollment season—ensuring that America’s working families have the information and resources they need to get covered and stay covered.
On March 5, the Department of the Treasury and IRS issued final rules on how employers report their employees’ health insurance. This was the last of a series of rules needed for implementing the requirement that large employers provide health insurance to their workers, or pay a penalty if they do not.
When health plans design their provider networks, they need to ensure that these networks are adequate and provide meaningful access to care. The Affordable Care Act established the first-ever federal rights guaranteeing private insurance consumers access to adequate networks.
In addition to typical partners such as community groups, this open enrollment some assister and navigator organizations are coordinating with health insurance companies to improve their outreach to consumers. These partnerships offer many advantages, such as plan benefit information and health literacy resources. However, as this blog explains, assisters should develop partnerships while following existing regulations and ethical guidelines.
Health Insurance Marketplaces Need More Silver Health Plans with Affordable Upfront Cost-Sharing Amounts for Consumers
The Affordable Care Act has made health coverage more affordable for millions of lower- and moderate-income consumers by offering premium tax credits that lower the monthly cost of coverage. However, it takes more than an insurance card to make health care accessible to consumers. If the out-of-pocket costs that health plans require (deductibles, copayments, and other cost-sharing) are too high, consumers can’t afford to pay for their health care services. The marketplace plays a critical role in keeping these upfront costs low.